Would You Like a Refill?

 

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Sometimes when you sip a cup of warmth, the contents can turn a bit tepid. So how about a top-off of this week’s cups? It’s Thursday, the day I re-serve the warmth shared throughout the previous six days of the Write 31 Days challenge. That way if you missed anything, or simply want a refill, the offerings are here for your enjoyment.

And for those who drink til the last drop, you’ll find a link to a generous offer from DaySpring. (DaySpring, the Christian branch of Hallmark, is an official sponsor of Write31Days. They have something very special for the faithful readers of our posts. They are saying thank you for me in a way I can’t.) But you only have one day left to respond—deadline is Oct 28.

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Feel free to take your time soaking in the warmth of God’s graciousness, served in my little nook of the world. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cup with a friend, so feel free to take a seat and share your heart. My cup is warm but my heart is warmer—eager to hear your thoughts.


Friday, Oct 21, defined the flavor of true humility.

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Humility for a Heart Enslaved by Pride


Saturday, Oct 22, served the reminder of where to place legitimate expectations.

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Reality for a Heart with Faulty Expectations


Sunday, Oct 23, offered hope for the recognition we desire.

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Recognition for a Heart Overlooked


Monday, Oct 24, placed unforgiveness on the table so we could examine what it really means.

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Freedom from a Heart of Unforgiveness


Tuesday, Oct 25, offered an assurance that sometimes walls are necessary (and I’m not talking about geographical walls).

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Assurance for a Heart Protected


And, Wednesday, Oct 26, served a reminder of who’s really in charge

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A Pry Bar for a Heart Clutching


Now for that offer. DaySpring is an official supporter of Write31Days and they are offering our readers a chance for a $100 gift certificate. $100! That’s awesome! So click the link and it will take you to the special signup page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to use the Rafflecopter giveaway widget before October 28th. If you’re the winner DaySpring will contact you directly.


I can’t believe there are only four days left of this challenge! Thank you for being a dear friend and reading the messages God has burned into my soul during the years I had kids at home. I pray that you are encouraged and that those spots of your own heart that have grown cold, have been warmed by God’s grace and faithfulness.

I will resume my weekly blog again on Monday, November 7th. November! Oh my how this year has flown by. But, I’ve more material to share and a few surprises in store. So stay tuned.

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Assurance for a Heart Protected

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How long did it take for you to build that wall? No, not Donald’s wall. Your wall. That one you’ve erected around your heart. That wall that deflects the pain of another rejection from your child. The one that puts distance between you and friends and relatives who frequently offer criticism masked as parenting tips. The one that puts on a plastic smile when someone compliments your child’s beguiling goodness. It probably didn’t take very long at all, did it?

But, you know what? Sometimes walls are necessary.

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Sometimes we need to not absorb the rejection our children throw at us. Because truth is, though we’re the one they’re shooting at, it’s not us they’re really after. We just happen to be the closest heart they can reach.

And most of our friends and family have not—and will not—walk in our shoes. They simply won’t get it, so we just have to appreciate their well-meaningness. Educate where we can, and let it be where we can’t.

As for those compliments, aren’t you glad your children aren’t revealing their ick to everyone around you? As much as we wish people understood our grief, isn’t it nice to have most people in the dark. Our children need people to believe in them. And we don’t need to hear all the advice people would share if they “only knew.”

But, we must be careful. We must make sure that those walls can be easily dismantled because we never know when some hurting soul might need to hear our story. We need to build some windows to let the light of hope illumine our dark moments. And we need to build a door because the day will come when our children will be ready to meet us heart-to-heart.

One final word about these walls. They must be build with bricks of truth. Not resentment. Not stubbornness. Not fear. Not guilt. Truth.

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Here’s a few bricks to consider:

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7, NIV)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
(Psalm 91:1-2, 4, NIV)

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
(Psalm 17:8, NIV)

Humility for a Heart Enslaved by Pride

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I hid in my room, swiveling in my cushy orange rocker. Lord, is this pride I’m battling? Do I really need to apologize or was my firmness called for? Am I being selfish or do I have good reason to draw lines?

I remembered a question from some sermon from my youth. “Do you know what the middle letter is in the word pride? I. Pride is when I am at the center.” A good point. Obviously, one that had stuck with me. But, was it accurate? What mom has any pride left? I mean really! Our dignity vanished rather soon in the process.

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I spent many evenings sitting in my sanity rocker, trying to sort through this. Maybe earlier in the day I had exploded at a child. Maybe I had stood my ground and said, “No you may not come into my room … share my cookie … or look in my purse.”

It’s such a fine balance, isn’t it, between selfishness and self-preservation … between pride and protection? How do you discern when you’re sinning or when you’re actually drawing wise boundaries?

It’s no easy answer. And every woman answers this differently. These are some ways I learned to evaluate my motives:

Know yourself—your limits. What’s going to tip you over the edge? What could have a negative impact on your health? What’s going to prove worse for the family in the end?

Know your kids. Are your boundaries for their best in the long run? Does saying no teach them restraint? Does saying yes teach them indulgence?

Talk to someone who knows you and your kids. My husband rarely got wrapped up in the emotional turmoil I experienced. He supported me completely while maintaining an objective perspective. Frankly, most of the time he could see that the boundaries were crucial. If he wasn’t available, I had other adoptive moms I could ask.

The bottom line is be very real with yourself and with the Lord. That means don’t be afraid. I think what got in the way of me being able to discern my motives was fear I was messing up in a big way. I didn’t want to apologize because I was afraid it meant I was a horrible person. I didn’t want to take an honest look at pride because I was afraid it meant I would have to become a doormat to my kids. So much of my anguish was wrapped up in fear instead of freedom.

It took years for me to realize that pride is mostly likely driven by fear. In fact, what appears to be pride usually is fear. I actually found relief in this. Pride was a confusing animal to confront. But fear? I knew what to do with that.

You see, we have a Savior who defeated all our enemies. We have a Father who welcomes us into His safe embrace. We have His word that said 365 times (literally) fear not.

Whatever it is we fear becomes our master. So what are you a slave to today? You know we have a choice? We can surrender to our fears and let pride claim our hearts. Or, we can surrender to the Lord and let His peace and purposes reign.

Surrender to God. Isn’t that what humility really is? Humility isn’t groveling, or laying down as a doormat. No, humility is surrendering to the Lordship of Christ.

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It begins with trusting in His perfect, loving will so we can listen to the Holy Spirit. Humility, then, allows us to obey from a position of security, confidence, and freedom.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7,8, and 10, NIV)

This Week’s Refill

Sometimes when you sip a cup of warmth, the contents can turn a bit tepid. So how about a top-off of this week’s cups? It’s Thursday, the day I re-serve the warmth shared throughout the previous six days of the Write 31 Days challenge. That way if you missed anything, or simply want a refill, the offerings are here for your enjoyment.

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Friday, Oct 7, offered that only when we look to God’s promises can we illumine our disillusioned hearts.

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Illumination for a Heart Disillusioned


Saturday, Oct 8, served a bitter/sweet cup, challenging us to mourn the family we never got in order to embrace the one we did get.

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Hope for a Heart Grieving


Sunday, Oct 9, encouraged us to battle isolation by meeting regularly with a group of friends who understand our plight as SAFE moms.

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An Invitation for a Heart Isolated


Monday, Oct 10, shared how I learned to deal with my anger.

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Peace for a Heart Angered


Tuesday, Oct 11, offered an iced drink of encouragement that sometimes a cold heart is necessary.

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Validation for a Heart Chilled


And Wednesday, Oct 12, served a reminder to not stress when we’re not enough because God will more than abundantly supply every need.

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Release for a Heart Self-Reliant


Feel free to take your time soaking in the warmth of God’s graciousness, served in my little nook of the world. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cup with a friend, so feel free to take a seat and share your heart. My cup is warm but my heart is warmer—eager to hear your thoughts.